Day 1 - June 19

3:00 pm - 6:00 pm   /   Registration at Hyatt Place Lincoln/Downtown Haymarket - 600 Q Street

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm   /   Startup Showcase Booth Setup (optional)

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm   /   VIP/Speaker Dinner  (VIP ticket holders only) 

8:00 pm - 12:00 am   /   Opening Party at Rule G Night Club and Roof Top at the RailYard - 350 Canopy Street/3rd Floor  

Open to the public.  Connect with the best and brightest innovators to kick off the Summit.

DAY 2 - June 20

8:00 am - 9:00 am   /   Registration & Networking 

9:00 am - 9:30 am   /   Brian Ardinger - Econic and Matt Hunckler - Verge

Innovation in Unexpected Places

9:30 am - 10:00 am   /   Michael Docherty - Author of Collective Disruption / NextBig

Collective Disruption: Leading by Letting Go

Corporates and entrepreneurs need each other now more than ever, yet too few co-development projects ever get beyond early-stage exploration or pilots. Success requires new mindsets in dealing with control, risk and trust-based collaboration. The collective disruption model brings together the best of corporate and entrepreneurial strengths for co-creating transformative new businesses. In this talk, Michael will share case studies and results from leading companies and entrepreneurs that are embracing disruption through deeper collaboration. You'll learn about new models for co-creation, including embedding entrepreneurs into corporate innovation programs, pushing internal innovation teams to the outside, and even partnering with the new breed of entrepreneurial firms providing 'disruption-on-demand'. It's not easy, but it's the future and it's quickly becoming a reality. Learn to lead by letting go.

10:00 am - 10:30 am   /   Dr Simone Ahuja - Blood Orange  

Disrupt-It-Yourself: How Corporations Can Help Intrapreneurs Be Fast, Fluid and Frugal

Forty percent of the S & P 500 will not exist in 10 years.  Only 14% of new grads want to work for a large company.  Consumers are demanding higher value at a lower cost, and accessible technology allows lone entrepreneurs to compete with industry giants.  How will large organizations remain competitive?  By learning to become fast, fluid and frugal.  In this engaging talk, Dr. Ahuja shares inspiring stories and a practical primer outlining how large firms can drive disruptive innovation by behaving more like start ups, while leveraging the scale, distribution and talent they already have.

10:30 am - 11:00 am  /  Mickey Cloud - VaynerMedia

Capturing Consumer Attention in an Ever-Fragmented Media Landscape

You can order a pizza by talking to a speaker, a stranger can drive you to your destination in their own car, and you can rent your spare bedroom out to anyone in the world. The mobile device & technology are changing our behavior in ways we couldn't have anticipated 10-15 years ago. With this changing behavior comes changing media consumption, and the brands (small or large) that are winning right now are taking advantage of that shift while competitors continue to market with the status quo. Take advantage of the disruption happening in the marketing world to grow your business.

11:00 am - 11:30 am   /   Break

11:00 am - 1:00 pm   /   Startup Showcase Booth Setup (optional)

11:30 am - 12:00 pm   /   Chris Shipley - FutureWork 

Dancing with Elephants: What I Learned Trying To Navigate Startup-Saving Deals  

Every startup dreams of nailing that one great deal that validates (and finances) your nascent business. But be careful what you wish for. Elephants dance to a very different drummer.

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm   /   Anna Mason - Revolution and Ryan J Smith - Magic Johnson Enterprises  

Changing the Venture Game

Anna Mason and Ryan Smith will share the stage for a joint presentation on Revolution & Rise of the Rest and Magic Johnson Enterprises respectively.

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm   /   Christina Bechhold - Samsung NEXT Ventures

When Does Corporate Venture Make Sense?

Selecting the right investor base is critical to the success of any company, even from the earliest stages. What are the benefits and challenges of working with a corporate or strategic investor, and what questions should you ask to evaluate fit? For corporates considering venture investment, what are best practices for successful sourcing, selection and impact to your business?

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm   /   Lunch -  Matchmaking & Table Talks  /  Arena

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm   /   Startup Showcase/Demo Pit Open  /  Arena

Check out the Startup Showcase HERE!

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm          

The Business of Innovation – Cultivating Diversity in Your Workforce / Panel / Main Stage

Neil Soni - The Estee Lauder Companies - Moderator

Dr. Helen Fagan, Diversity Expert

Emir Plicanic, Product and UX Lead, Vosaic

David Brown, Managing Partner, Brown Immigration Law

Chuck Norris, Nelnet

How to cultivate innovation by recruiting fresh perspectives and encouraging new approaches to problems. The business of innovation is not just about checking traditional diversity boxes when hiring. Understand the ways in which our individual backgrounds have shaped our approach to thinking and learn how you can discover fresh perspectives and build that into your team during this panel.

Sugath Warnakulasuriya - Thalamus Labs - A Field Guide to Corporate and Startup Innovation  /  Mezzanine Stage

There are more tools and techniques than ever to help entrepreneurs develop and bring new ideas to market, and to change large organizations so innovation becomes a day-to-day habit. For those just starting or already on this journey, the amount of options and alternative approaches can be complex, overwhelming. This talk will give an overview of what's available, when and how to use which framework or methodology, and provide a simple and clear game plan for setting up and using a portfolio of innovation tools to best meet your needs.

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm          

Nathan Bobbin - Travelport/  Main Stage - Fail Shot For The Win - Q & A

The biggest learnings, screw-ups, pivots, and wins from the front lines of a 5-year-old corporate innovation practice. 

Doug Durham - Don't Panic Labs - Enabling Innovation Through Integrating Agile and Software Development Best Practices  /  Mezzanine Stage

There has been a lot of focus on agile practices as a means for increasing productivity of development teams, and rightly so. As companies consider software innovation initiatives, it will be critical that these methods are adopted within those efforts. However, agile methodologies by themselves will not create the sustained agility and throughput that companies should expect from their software innovation teams. At Don't Panic Labs, we have spent years working on new product development and have achieved success through recognizing that agile processes are a part of a larger product development culture that also includes the integration of software design and development best practices. In this talk I will discuss how we have integrated these best practices and discuss lessons learned and benefits.

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm          

Molly Lahr - American Family Ventures and Ted Stuckey - QBE Insurance Group - A Tale of Two Paths: Innovation and Corporate Venturing  /  Main Stage

Explore how two property & casualty insurance carriers have approached innovation and engaged with disrupters. American Family Insurance is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 332 on the Fortune 500 list. QBE Insurance Group is one of the world's top 20 general insurance and reinsurance companies, with operations in all key insurance markets.

Jason Fraser - Pivotal - Extreme Collaboration - How Team Size, Structure, and Communication Habits Affect Your Ability to Deliver Innovation  /  Mezzanine Stage

Innovation is less about ideas and more about being able to deliver. Extreme Collaboration helps teams deliver products faster and with more coherence. You'll learn a few easy things that you can do to ensure stronger, more effective collaboration on your team, and help you drive your innovation efforts forward.

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm   /    Break

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm          

Brian Gerrard – Product Marketing & Innovation at The Meet Group - How to Use Entrepreneurs in Corporations to Predict the Future  /  Main Stage

One thing is for certain, technology is transforming life and business as we know it at an exponential rate.  Companies that cannot solve problems, evolve culture and innovate their businesses fast enough will not survive.  Those who succeed will do so by hiring entrepreneurs, and encouraging an entrepreneurial culture within their walls.  As a former startup founder/CEO, Brian Gerrard was brought into a corporation as a part of an acquisition.  In this talk, he shares how what he helped re-shaped the acquiring company and drive them to their own acquisition less than a year after joining.  

Tom Samph and Ajay Rajani - Nextt - Experimentation 101: The Secret Sauce of Early Stage Entrepreneurship  /  Mezzanine Stage

Experimentation is the key to validating new ideas and building successful businesses. And, as costs of production and distribution decrease across industries, it's becoming more valuable every single day. In this talk, Ajay Rajani and Tom Samph of Nextt share the specific strategies, tactics and tools that have helped us launch 30+ experiments, build multiple companies, and raise over $100 million in venture capital.  

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm        

Tristan Kromer - Kromatic - Corporate Startup Ecosystems & Innovation Obstacles  /  Main Stage

All ecosystems are different and blindly copying a model from Silicon Valley can lead to disaster. Every company must take it's strengths and weaknesses into account and design an innovation program to complement them. This talk will focus on how to map out your corporate ecosystem and identify obstacles to innovation that are putting the brakes on innovation.

Ben Jackson - LinkedIn - How Entrepreneurs Should Use LinkedIn  /  Mezzanine Stage


5:00 pm - 5:30 pm        

Nirav Amin - P&G/Tide Spin - Innovate and Create Like a Startup  /  Main Stage

The world is changing everyday, faster than ever.  As technology continues to become more a part of our lives, our behavior as consumers also changes.  How we shop, hail a cab, or decide what activity to pursue is decided with the use of technology.  Startups have played a significant role in changing consumer behavior.  They’ve also played a part in disrupting market share for major competitors.  Taken for granted, many startups have been able to prove just how effective they can be at disrupting large corporations and their hold on any market.  In many cases, the startup can be acquired by the larger corporation and used to stay relevant in their specific market.  

There’s a new movement now though, in terms of innovation, and how corporations are using their existing base of consumers and knowledge to innovate and work to stay relevant in an ever changing market.  This session is designed to discuss how large corporations are pooling from startup strategies to innovate and create.  Using Nirav Amin's experience as the COO of Tide Spin, a new innovation of Proctor & Gamble, he'll touch on just how corporations can use startup methodologies to innovate and create the next wave of products and services that will keep them relevant to their consumer base while maintaining their purpose.  

Atul Kamra - SixThirty - Hidden in Plain Sight  /  Mezzanine Stage

In the FinTech space, as in other industries, there a shift in the orientation of innovators, from being disruptors to collaborators.  The technologies are relevant… yet collaborating is messy and value is elusive, often in hidden places.  So, FinTech and FS partnerships have proved to be a mixed bag.  Capturing value requires taking the (unsexy) front-to-back view, addressing incentives and exploring the hidden places. 

Atul’s work focuses on FinTech companies and leading financial services incumbents. He is known to use non-traditional approaches, from drama and poetry, to inspire collaboration.  And will share stories from both sides of the aisle on where value lies and how to capture it.


5:30 pm - 7:00 pm   /   Wrap up / Innovators & Instigators Mixer - Sponsored by Ameritas  /  Ameritas Club Lounge

DAY 3 - june 21

8:00 am - 9:00 am   /   Registration & Networking

9:00 am - 9:30 am   /   Josh Berry - Econic and Matt Hunckler - Verge  

Accelerating Innovation Inside and Out

The Honorable Governor Pete Ricketts

9:30 am - 10:00 am   /   Janice Fraser - Bionic

Growing the Hairball: Some thoughts on what it really takes for a very large company to rediscover growth. 

To open day 2 of the conference, Janice Fraser will make some of us feel young and others feel old. With (lame) humor and (sincere) passion, Janice will reassure everyone that this work we're doing is very hard and explain why it's so important. (Here's a hint: The end goal isn't innovation. It's growth.) Janice will paint a clear picture of what it takes for Very Large Companies to rekindle top-line growth, and by the end, you'll know at least one thing that you can do to get started. 

10:00 am - 10:30 am   /   Doug Nielson - U.S. Bank

Building an Innovation Practice

  • Partnering with FinTechs to accelerate the pace of innovation.  
  • Embedding an innovative culture in your bank.  
  • How do you measure success?

10:30 am - 11:00 am   /   Paul Singh - Results Junkies

The Business of (Tech) Startups

After sitting on airplanes for 250,000 miles per year between 2009 and 2015, driving 40,000 miles in the last 18 months and investing in thousands of entrepreneurs over the past decade, this talk is about the growing intersection between startups, venture capital and the cities all around us. And — whether you’re an entrepreneur, investor or community leader — what we ought to be doing about it.

11:00 am - 11:30 am   /   Break

11:30 am - 12:00 pm   /   Patrick Jones - VOCATIO

Discover Hidden Talent: Moneyball Recruiting of Liberal Arts Majors 

An unconventional but statistically sound framework for discovering and engaging high-caliber high-fit talent for today’s workplace competitive advantage.

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm   /   Jonathan Bertfield - Spinnaker

Governing Our Way to Innovation

When companies begin talking about driving innovation and building a culture of entrepreneurship they often struggle to connect those efforts to the larger enterprise. Once we've started to deploy approaches to accelerate innovation how do we ensure that those efforts can thrive in a culture of discipline and strategic alignment. How do we ensure those tactical shifts for our delivery teams are mirrored and amplified by changes in how executive leadership, finance, HR and strategic planning operate. Jonathan Bertfield from Spinnaker will share concrete tactics with stories from global companies illustrating the impact of a holistic approach to innovation.

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm   /   Carie Davis - Coca-Cola / BridgeCommunity

Corporations and Startups, Better Together

Top 10 things we've learned from the trenches while helping Coca-Cola, Cox, IHG, and The Weather Company develop a reliable process for partnering with startups.


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm   /   Lunch with Match Making & Table Talks  /  Arena

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm   /   Startup Showcase/Demo Pit Open  /  Arena

Check out the Startup Showcase HERE - 60 startup companies!


2:00 pm - 2:30 pm          

Patrick Riley - GAN - Lack of mission - Why a Lack of Purpose is Killing Startups, Corporations and their Ability to Collaborate /  Main Stage

Startups and large corporations are craving the ability to work together. Unfortunately, few startups and large corporations have a clear purpose and vision for where their business is heading. This normally happens when there isn't a clear mission and values of the business. We'll talk about how to create a killer mission which starts from having clear, defined values and how you can leverage those things to build successful partnerships for your business.

Thiago Olson - Engage Ventures  /  The question isn’t which corporate backer, but why not 10? A new model for corporate venture investment  /  Mezzanine Stage

As Managing Director of Engage Ventures, Thiago Olson will talk about how Engage Ventures has partnered with some of the largest corporations in the world to develop a “no strings attached,” founder-first method of venture investment.

Today, many large corporations are doing everything they can to keep up with technological advances impacting their business models. Many use accelerators, innovation groups, and corporate venture capital (CVC) as a way to stay up-to-date on current trends but many times run into issues and end up with short-lived efforts. Recently, Engage has launched a new model that aims to change the way corporations and startups interact and benefit from each other. 

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm          

Bart Dillashaw - Dillashaw LLC  -  The Legal Side of Corporate + Startup Collaboration  /  Main Stage

Explore how corporate innovators are approaching, investing and partnering with startups to accelerate innovation.

Scott Henderson - Sandbox Communities - Connect the Awesomeness: Designing for Serendipity and Trust  /  Mezzanine Stage

AI and robots haven't taken over the world just yet. It's people who create the breakthroughs. More so, it's people with strong networks who create the biggest breakthroughs. Unfortunately, most people stay inside their bubbles. In this high energy session, you'll learn how to leverage human nature through a mix of events, media content, and collaborative space to help your company discover its next big breakthrough. Wait, there's more! You'll also discover secret tricks for engineering serendipity and connecting to adjacent possibilities. All for just thirty minutes of your life. 100% satisfaction guaranteed or you get a free campus tour from this former UNL Ambassador. 

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm          

Paul Jarrett - Bulu Box - Win. Win. Win. How Bulu Box Pivoted to Embrace Partnership  /  Main Stage

In this talk, Bulu Box co-founder and CEO Paul Jarrett shares how a new company philosophy enabled his team to eliminate distractions from the true Bulu Box mission, embrace dynamic partnerships and embark on a truly banner year for Bulu Box, including being named Silicon Prairie's Startup of the Year. 

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm   /   Break

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm   /   $100K Investment Pitch Competition - Sponsored by Nelnet /  Main Stage

HowFactory - HowFactory is the mobile and online platform to transform corporate know-how into show-how. Our apps make it simple to create, update, and collaborate on visual training, work instructions and standard operating procedures.  Cedar Falls, IA

LeverageRx - LeverageRx is a personal finance company that helps doctors make smarter financial decisions. Omaha, NE - is a cloud-based construction payment platform to facilitate the exchange of lien waivers, ACH payments, W9s and 1099s.  Sioux City, IA

Painless1099 - Painless1099 helps independent contractors (think: freelance designers and real estate agents) save for tax season. Through a smart bank account, Painless1099 automatically withholds taxes based on user information and then deposits what is safe to spend directly to a user’s personal checking account. This allows contractors to focus on the work they know, while automating savings and avoiding an unexpected bill from the IRS during tax season.  St Louis, MO

SkyVu AR - SkyVu AR's gamification platform gives retailers a huge advantage over Amazon with Pokémon Go-like games that gets more customers into their stores and keeps them coming back.  Omaha, NE

VideoFizz - Our technology is the collaborative curation of digital media.  Used in our mobile app VideoFizz, it’s the easiest way to create montage video greetings for any occasion.  Kansas City, MO

Selected from the Startup Showcase:

SnapCheck - A high-speed, highly secure, and universally accepted payments solution dedicated to eliminating paper checks. San Francisco, CA  

Highlight-Her - Platform that matches female athletes with universities and universities with female athletes.  Omaha, NE   

CompanyCam - Software company that helps contractors manage field work with smart photos.  Lincoln, NE  

Retail Aware - Gives real-time analytics to manufacturers in retail stores, Omaha, NE 


5:30 pm - 5:45 pm   /   Wrap-up

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm   /   Closing Happy Hour at FUSE Coworking - Sponsored by CardFlight  -  151 N 8th Street, 4th Floor  Entertainment by the Star City Strings.



  • Monday-Wednesday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm  :   Free coworking at FUSE Coworking sponsored by Ink 
    • Located in the Haymarket at 151 N. 8th St


*  All talks take place on the Main Stage unless otherwise noted.  

**  All sessions take place in Pinnacle Bank Arena unless otherwise noted.